Sunday, November 27, 2011

1000 Gifts...

30. Grocery store samples.
29. Braided pigtails.
28. Very large, very soft pillows.
27. Watching someone else see a shooting star.
26. Silent laughing with someone else.
25. Jumping into freezing cold water.
24. Passing-on a great book.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunshine, Silhouettes & Mason Jars

I found a bunch of vintage mason jars in a junk pile in my parents woods, so I washed them up and took these photos.  Nostalgia.  August 2011.

Monday, November 7, 2011

1000 Gifts...

23. World globes.
22. Having someone to laugh at inappropriate things with.
21. Listening to someone else's story.
20. Blue mason jars.
19. Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Doily Earring Display

I got the frame from Salvation Army, then tacked a doily to the back.  It only took about 15 minutes to get it right.  Cute for hanging on the wall or displaying on an easel on your dresser!
Next I want to try to make an easel from one of the old silver spoons I found at Goodwill!  Like this:

Scrap fabric LOVE pillow

I hand-stitched scraps from old t-shirts together to make a cute throw pillow for my bed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Someone at Hallmark deserves a raise...

I got this birthday card from my parents 2 years ago.  What I love about it is that the person it describes is who I aspired to be and also who my parents say I am.  I'd say that is a pretty cool place to be in life.  I keep the card next to my bed where I always see it as a reminder of who I have been, am and aspire to be.

My Daughter
What I Love About You

I love the spirit of you...
the grace with which you welcome each challenge, the childlike wonder that still colors your days.

I love the originality of you...
your willingness to stand out from the crowd... your unique perspective on what's happening in the world and in your life.

I love the wisdom of you...
the way you trust your intuition... your unfailing commitment to doing the right thing.

And most of all, I love the heart of you...
the genuine compassion, empathy, and friendship you offer to everyone you know.

I guess it's pretty clear...
I love everything about you.

And on your birthday, I'm wishing joy and blessings to you, my beautiful daughter and friend.

Thanks Marmee and Pappy!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Little Insight/Reminder/Kick in the Seat

No idea who the author of this is, but a friend recently shared it with me, and I want to share it with you.

"Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be (possibly your roommate, neighbour, co-worker, longest friend, lover, or even a complete stranger) but when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints in our hearts,
and We are never, ever the same.

And sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realised your potential, strength, willpower, or heart. Everything happens for a reason, nothing happens by chance or by means of luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness, and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, whatever they may be, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight flat road to nowhere. It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless. The people you meet who affect your life, and the success and downfalls you experience help to create who you become.

Even the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious when you open your heart. If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because in a way, they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1000 Gifts...

18. Hot air balloons from the highway.

Monday, August 15, 2011

1000 Gifts...

17. A mom that cares when I should care more.
16. On-the-fly cooking.
15. No cavities!
14. Giving a friend the perfect quote.

Friday, August 12, 2011

1000 Gifts...

13. Homemade soft pretzels, raspberry mustard dip and root beer from the bottle.
12. Looking at the moon through a telescope.
11. Blanket burritos on the grass.
10. Eating food straight from the plant.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

1000 Gifts...

‎9. Sharing water with old ladies at the train station.
8. Avacado popsicles.
7. Bike rides through Wrigleyville; game day. 
6. Getting lost. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

1000 Gifts...

5. Proclaiming a new favorite food; huckleberries.
4. Swimsuits on sale.
3. Rosy cheeks.
2. The reflection of sunrise.
1. Braided hair.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Big Announcement

Hi Folks,

So some of you already know this, but to many of you it will be the saddest thing you have ever heard and will probably ever hear.  So, grab a roll of toilet paper (for your incessant tears, of course.) and have a seat because I am about to drop a big freakin' piece of news.

In September I will be moving to Houston, GodBlessTexas, to pursue an alternative teaching accreditation through a program called Region 4.  I was heavily considering staying in Bloomington to obtain a similar certificate but literally the day after I wrassled up all the requirements for my IU application, I decided Houston was the best option for me.
Here's the play-by-play:

IU: $17,000 Tuition=Major debt
R4: $3,700 Tuition=Paid for by this summer's job.

IU: Certificate obtained in 3 semesters with a Masters to follow.
R4: Certificate obtained in 2 semesters.

IU: Would require me to find a job and stay in the Bloomington area for several years after obtaining certificate to take Masters classes and would be hard to relocate with little teaching experience at a Masters salary.
R4: Allows me to apply for job and move where ever I want to after May.

IU: Pay full rent in Bloomington.
R4: Live with sister and get the family discount. :)

So that's how it's gonna be.  Here are the reasons I am super excited and kinda bummed in list form:

Reasons I am Super Excited
1.  In a little more than a year, I will hypothetically be a real person with real person lifestyle, salary and
2.  I get to live with my amazing sister, incredible brother-in-law, hilarious niece and cuddly dog-
3.  As a teacher I will get summer breaks to do any/all of the following: travel, mission work, rock
climb, photography, learn to fly airplanes... whatever!
4.  As a teacher I will get to problem-solve daily, teach kids how to think for themselves, mentor kids,
encourage kids, start DI teams, start Bible studies, start rock climbing clubs, coach volleyball, direct
plays... whatever!

Reason I am Kinda Bummed
1.  I will miss being with all of the wonderful people in Bloomington.  I will miss the community created
at the Canvas. I will miss Mark bringing me apples and thermometers when I am sick. I will miss
dancing, singing, praying and crying with Colleen whenever I want. I will miss running through the
golf course at midnight screaming obscenities with Katie. I will miss trying to convince Hannah D to
sleep on our couch every other  night. I will miss Broderick providing me with a constant stream and
perfect balance of hilarity and insight. I will miss Abiola giving me hugs, telling me how white
I am and smelling like she just stepped out of Heaven. I will miss Jackie's boyfriend tees, Stephen's
jokes, Anna's laugh, Rachel and Alena's handstands, Charity's smile, Giff's vocal ellipses, Michaela's
bare feet, Brian's singing and so so SO much more from so many amazing people. You know who
you are (seriously, don't sell yourself short.  I mean you!), and you are deeply loved and will be
deeply missed. You all are the people that have seen me grow and have helped me find who I was
made to be.

However, all is not lost just yet.

I will be in Bloomington for a little bit before I drive down to Texas.  I will come down around August 17th and be in town for a couple days before leading my final kayaking trip for IUOA to Michigan until the 24th.  I'll then probably bum around for a week and a half until Stephen and Lydia's wedding on September 4th and leave for Texas shortly thereafter.  I am super-duper pumped for this time and can't wait to leave town officially and in style. :)

*PS. I lost my phone in Delaware, so if you made it to the end of this message, you win.  Send me a text with your name in it to redeem your major award.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Scrumptious Gumption

"You are not alone."

"Sorry?" I said quizzically as I removed my right ear bud and glanced up at the old man.
"You are not alone," he said matter-of-factly.
I quickly realized that he was not making an existential statement but rather referring to the Air Force sweater I had just slipped on over my black t-shirt.  I noticed his Air Force cap and my cheeks began to redden. 
"Oh, um, I'm not actually in the Air For--" 
"You're going to have to speak up!" he said.
"Oh, right. Err, I was just saying, I'm not actually in the Air Force.  I just work with kids on bases over the summers."
"I bet you didn't know I am 93-years-old," he spouted out, completely changing the subject.  "And I just love it." 
I laughed and the tension eased.
By his tone, I could tell this would not be a short conversation, so I took out both ear buds and paused my latest Netflix episode of 30 Rock.  He continued in his non sequitur manner regaling tales of life on a South Dakota pig farm, daring dramas of rescues as a US Air Force pilot, his summit of Mount Kilaminjaro (at age 65, no less) and the ins and outs of his most recent endeavor, tai chi lessons.
I didn't get a lot of time to share back to him, but it's just as well, I suppose.  He's lived 93 years and I, only 22.  That means he has lived over four times longer than I have, so naturally, he should have at least four times as much to say.  That's how I see it anyway.
We talked for a good 30 minutes before an official-sounding voice came over the loud speaker and started calling for military personnel and passengers with babies to board US Airways Flight 1731.  The old man paused and reached into his pocket for a crumpled boarding pass.  
"Where's your seat?" he looked up and asked me.
"18-C," I answered glancing down at the ticket in my lap.
"Well, how 'bout that!  I'm 18-D!  Isn't that something!" he smiled and shook his head. "I tell you what... If you live a good life, good things come to you!"
I felt as if the joy received from hearing that statement might bubble up and start spilling out my ears.  To some, traveling alone can be an utterly uncomfortable, mundane and confusing time.  But, my random jaunts across the country, engaging with complete strangers, seems to suit me perfectly.  Few things fill me with such a sense of love as intently listening to the words of a stranger who is eager to share.  
As the old man and I stood in line to board, I suddenly realized that I didn't even know his name.  
I stuck out my right hand and said, "Hi.  My name is Audrey.  What's yours?"
"You can call me Ted.  Ted Gourley.  It's nice to meet you."  I smiled and he grin wryly as the airline attendant took our tickets.  I waited for him as he thanked her genuinely, and we walked down the loading ramp together.  

The stories kept flowing as we sat on the runway, braced for take-off, and ordered apple juice once the plane reached cruising altitude.  With each story, Ted got more animated and revealed more and more of his amazing story.  
He spoke of his wife with the most beautiful honesty and candidness.  They were childhood sweethearts and he courted her for seven years before getting married at age 22.  
"She was never the adventuresome type like me, but we sort of balance each other out," he sighed.  "My adventures have slowed down the past seven years though.  She got Alzheimer's, and most of my energy went into caring for my bride.  She died seven months ago."  
The corners of my mouth turned down and my eyes saddened, but he quickly snapped at me, "There's nothing wrong with that at all!  We were married for 71 years, and that's all we could dream of!"  
I smiled.  "You're right.  That's so incredible.  What an honor," I replied.  
That is the perspective of a man with far more life behind him than in front of him.  (But then, who's to say we all haven't already lived most of our days?)  He lives such a life of gratitude and it permeates his very being.  You don't see that much these days.

Our conversation faded with the altitude as the plane began to descend.  Our eyes drifted out the window to the patchwork of fields and country homes transitioning into a smattering of baseball fields, swimming pools and parking lots.  Skyscrapers towered in the distance.
As the plane's wheels brushed the runway at Chicago-O'Hare, Ted suddenly turned to me and leaned across the aisle from seat 18-D.  In his softest whisper he looked me in the eye and said, "Time and age is an illusion between you and I," and just like that, settled back into his seat.
Water filled my eyes.  Here is someone that actually gets it.  He has lived an extraordinary life, but most importantly, he knows greater things are yet to come--in this life and beyond.  
As the other passengers started to gather their things, Ted scrawled his address into the first page of my new journal.   He had me promise to write to him about my upcoming trip to Rapid City, South Dakota, and my adventures beyond.  He, in turn, promised to add me into his biography.  

As I waved goodbye to my new friend and we turned to go our separate ways in the busy airport terminal, I couldn't help but smile and shake my head as I thought about how much God's hands are all over my life.  
This is what I want: to surrender more and more of my life, my schedule and plans, and my expectations to His will and cherish whatever comes my way.  I want to be earnestly grateful for my life lived and my life to come, but most importantly for where I am right now.

I am 22-years-old, and I just love it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Summer comes to multiply

Bon Iver, Babys 

Summer comes
to multiply,
to multiply!

summer comes
to multiply,
to multiply!

and I...
I'm the Carnival of Peace
I'll probably start a fleet
with no apologies

and the Carnival of Scenes...
it grows more and more appealing
but my woman and I...
my woman and I know what we're for
summer comes
to multiply,
to multiply!

summer comes
to multiply,
to multiply!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry

Goodness sakes alive, I can't get enough of Wendell Berry.  I had the pleasure of cramming into a PACKED lecture hall last semester and hearing him read from his latest book and recite some of his poems.  He was just the most lovely man.  He is famous for writing about the beauty of nature, rural life and the necessity of conserving and cherishing it.  He also grew up in Kentucky and has the most precious accent.  There is something special about hearing someone read their own writing, whether poetry or prose.  Where I often find frustration through the limiting nature of the written word, hearing it read aloud by it's author breathes a certain life into the linear writing.  
Anyway, Mr. Berry finished his talk by reading the following poem from one of his books he borrowed from an eager woman in the front row.  It was an absolutely perfect series of moments and made this poem all the more special to me.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready-made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head. 
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer. 

When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you 
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something 
that won't compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor. 
Love someone who does not deserve it. 

Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed. 

Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. 
Say that your main crop is the forest 
that you did not plant, 
that you will not live to harvest. 

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. 
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees 
every thousand years. 

Listen to carrion -- put your ear 
close, and hear the faint chattering 
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful 
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men. 

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child? 
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 

Go with your love to the fields. 
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts. 

As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn't go. 

Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction. 

Practice resurrection.  

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Music: Wedding Dress, Derek Webb

Take a listen, and if you have a bit to read and process, take a look at this:

If you could love me as a wife 
and for my wedding gift, your life 
Should that be all I'll ever need 
or is there more I'm looking for 

and should I read between the lines 
and look for blessings in disguise 
To make me handsome, rich, and wise 
Is that really what you want 

I am a whore I do confess 
But I put you on just like a wedding dress 
and I run down the aisle 
and I run down the aisle 
I'm a prodigal with no way home 
but I put you on just like a ring of gold 
and I run down the aisle to you 

So could you love this bastard child 
Though I don't trust you to provide 
With one hand in a pot of gold 
and with the other in your side 

I am so easily satisfied 
by the call of lovers so less wild 
That I would take a little cash 
Over your very flesh and blood 

Because money cannot buy 
a husband's jealous eye 
When you have knowingly deceived his wife 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lists: Things I will never look at the same again

egg nog
Japanese people
Saint Christopher
Wilson volleyballs
fly fishing
film slides
Cookie Crisp
mailing labels
utility lights
Canada geese
pine needles
jean jackets
mardi gras beads

Monday, March 28, 2011

Music: The Tallest Man on Earth, Thrown Right At Me

These lyrics make me swoon.  I think it's safe to assume that this song was written for me.

Jump 'long the creekside
The rock's crooked line
Fun curls your hair and
The days open wide

And horses trot faster 'til sparrows fall down
But you just fall, laughin', to the snow on the ground
You grew up by playin' the valley so wild
And that's why
You're so beautiful now

And, dancin' your bike to the lonesome, young mare
You call up her owner; say your heart will be there
You'll build a collection of scars on your knees
To learn how to count the impossible trees
You grew up by climbin' the birches so high
And that's why
You're so beautiful now

And we live so close that we probably seen
The same bird, the same time
They solumnly scream
One day, I'll find just that friend who can see
All this weird beauty
Thrown right at me

Growin' by playin' the valley so wild
And that's why
You're so beautiful now

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coffeehouse Chat and the Start of Camps

On Saturday I woke up for the last time at my hostel, ate a breakfast of nutella/almond butter/trail mix burritos and kissed the resident pugs goodbye.  I decided to explore the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, which proved to be much less exciting than I had planned and took up much less time, so I ended up camping out at a nearby coffee house until my internet stopped working. 

While debating buying some lavendar mate', a baristo named Ryan started chatting me up and gave me a free lavendar white chocolate mate' latte.  SWEET!  It was so good.  I finished my drink and decided it was a good time to start walknig to the airport before the sun went down.  As I was paying for my mate' (and sweet Argentinian straw!) one of Ryan's friends walked in and offered to give me a ride to the airport.  He seemed normal enough, so I agreed. (Sorry family.  I know, not entirely on-par to stranger-danger, but the potential ride was still 6 hours off and I had plenty of time to bail if any red flags went up.)  I ended up chatting with the friend (Jace) for the next 5ish hours at the coffee shop.  He works on "the slope" for "the devil" aka for BP.  We talked a lot about life and I was able to share my art journal and Bible with him.  It was sweet because he kept writing down things that I said and I think we both learned a lot from the conversation.

Anyway, around 9pm I got to the airport to wait for Kristen (my co-worker) to land so we could drive to our air base.  Our hotel is pretty standard for airbases and I  enjoyed the stale butter mints on my pillow that I got so used to this summer.

Sunday was tricky.  Usually we get in contact with out Point of Contact early on Sunday morning to prepare our materials and see our camp facilities, but our POC wasn't returning any of our calls or emails.  It wasn't until 5pm that we were informed that our POC was in Japan.  That explains a lot.  We finally got to see our facilities, but learned that half of our camp materials were never mail from DIHQ.  Good thing we are good at improvisation!

Monday started without a hitch, and Kristen and I were set up for camp 15 minutes before the kids were to show up.  Ironically, this was the exact time that our new POC told us that we could no longer use the two rooms were had been allocated for camp.  Whoops.  We ended up moving to the gym and finished set up just in time for the arrival of the first campers.

Camp Day 1 went great after that, and Kristen and I finished our day by going to the World Ice Art Sculpture Garden.  It was incredible!!!!  We went after dark, so all of the ice sculptures were lit up with different colors and palced through out winding wooded paths.  There will be pictures to come soon!
Today was camp Day 2, and it started out BRILLIANTLY.  The kids were really on the ball, well behaved and coming up with wonderful solutions to the challenges.  After lunch was a different story.  It appeared as if the appeal of video games and snow cones won out in the minds of our campers, and their focus was definitely elsewhere.

I worked out the issues of the day at the air base rock wall, and although it was only 20 feet tall, entirely plastic and I looked like an idiot wearing a helmet, it really helped me ground myself and prepare for work tomorrow.

So, that's where I am.  Over half way through my trip to Alaska, slightly exhausted, but gaining all kinds of new experiences and loving it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hidden Talents

As it turns out, the first two days of my Spring Break have  revealed/confirmed some pretty nifty talents I might not have otherwise discovered.

List of New Talents:
1. Not sleeping
2. Sleeping anywhere
3. Taking/making opportunities
4. Attracting/befriending crazy people
5. Endurance
6. Making people laugh


1.  My Spring Break started after classes on Wednesday.  I went to Canvas as usual at 6pm, then hung out with friends afterwards late into the night.  I didn't get to sleep until 3am and woke up at 4am to set out on my journey.  Considering I was running on one hour of sleep, I did pretty well for myself, getting to the airport and onto my plane without a hitch. I even made sure the excessive amount of miles I would be flying could go to my Frequent Flyer account. No sleep required.

2.  But, once I got on my first plane, I became a sleep warrior.  Even though I sat in the center seat for two flights, I balled up and dreamed my way across the country.  Neither height nor depth, nor any other creature in all creation can keep me from sleeping when I set my mind to it.

3.  In between my 2nd and 3rd flight of the day (Indy->Dallas; Dallas->Seattle; Seattle->Fairbanks) I had a six-hour layover, so I decided to grab a taxi and explore Seattle.  I decided that in order to say that I have actually visited Seattle, I would have to leave the airport, and I am so glad that I did.  A nice man at the currency exchange booth advised that I visit Pike's Place Market (the one where they throw fish).  It was so cool.  I felt like I was on the Travel Channel.  I loved to wander through the booths tasting samples, admiring musicians and people-watching.  I settled on an Alaskan cod roll for lunch and placed myself near a big window where I could watch the rain and waves roll into the bay.

4. I then ran into a man named Mauel on the street.  He wasn't quite on his A-game, but we had a fun chat and even sang a little "Victory in Jesus" for the heck of it.  Here's Manuel:

I kept walking and this funny old man's hat blew off, so I helped him chase it down.

Finally, I waved goodbye to Seattle and headed off to Fairbanks.  I again slept for most of the flight and awoke just in time to see the Northern Lights from my plane window as we landed in Fairbanks.  The final leg of my journey was to find my hostel, which proved to be rather difficult for my newbie taxi driver... eventually we found it (after pulling over for me to read the map in the glove box), and I settled into bed, sharing a room with a mom (Rebecca) and her son (Roan) from Anchorage.

5. In the morning, I had few plans of what I wanted to do, so I started with breakfast.  Fairbanks has 6 bus routes, so I thought that would be my best bet to get around, but the schedules were inaccurate, and I was impatient, so I just ended up walking.  I did get to chat up the Mogolian team for the World Ice Sculptor's Competition, so that was cool.  I spent a good deal of time eating almond butter, Nutella and gorp burritos at SafeWay, then purused shops downtown and finished with stopping by the Fairbanks Curling Club (awesome) and the World Ice Sculptor's Garden.  All in all, I walked over 12 miles today in sub-freezing weather.  It was truly a test of endurance.

6. I finally made it back to the hostel just as the last light was leaving the sky.  Two other hostel guests were chilling in the living room, so after a hot shower, I went down to say hello and cook some ramen.  Their names were Rie, a woman from Japan, and Joe, a deceivingly sweet Alaskan man.  As I ate, we watched Tom Cruise make a fool of himself in The Last Samari.  Joe, Rie and I had a few good laughs as we made fun of Tom Cruise, and I was once again encouraged how similar the inhabitants of this planet really are.  It's so cliche', but the fact that a rough and tough Alaskan man, a gorgeous Japanese young woman and a quirky Indiana girl can just sit down together and have a laugh makes the world seem a little bit smaller and more kind.

Tomorrow I am planning to take a hike through Creamer's Game Refuge and assuming I don't get mauled by a wild animal, I will probably spend the rest of the day exploring the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus and hanging at coffee shops and used book stores.  I also pick up Kristen from the airport tomorrow, and we head to Eielson Air Force Base.  I am so unbelievably tired, so I am going to bed now.

I love you all.  Live your dreams. ha


Monday, March 7, 2011

Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!

So, I figure it's time to get back in the blog game...  I wish I could have finished the 60 Days Challenge, but my computer broke, school started back up and I was sick for literally 7 weeks straight.  boo.  Perhaps I will finish the second half another time.  It was a great exercise and encouragement.

Anyway, I am halfway through my last semester of college and couldn't be more excited to see where life takes me from here.  I am looking at a few options right now including teaching nature education (much like Ben has done) in California, teaching English in South Korea, or sticking around Bloomington for one more year, working and enjoying the amazing community.  My plan right now is to work for a couple (few?) years making money, gaining interesting life experience and teaching experience, and then pursuing a teaching certificate through a Transition to Teaching Program.  TTP allows people with any college degree to earn a teaching certificate or teaching master's degree in 3 semesters (one being student teaching.)  Also, since i am in no rush, waiting will allow me to save up money, figure things out and not go into debt paying for school.

I realized after working with Destination ImagiNation Air Force Camps last summer how much I love teaching, especially in the experiential realm.  It's funny because my freshman year here at IU I almost switched my major to education, but decided that I would like the journalism classes better and by majoring in journalism and then pursuing teaching later if I so chose, I would have more job options.  This looks like the case, but we shall see.

On Thursday morning I leave for Fairbanks, Alaska, to lead another creative problem-solving camp for Air Force kids.  I AM SO EXCITED!  I think Americans in general have a strange fascination with Alaska, so when you add in my thirst for adventure and love of nature, well, you can imagine my excitement.  I am going a couple days early so I can be sure to have some time to explore.  It is always unclear what kind of access civilian contractors will have getting on and off base, and I would absolutely die if I didn't get to do some exploring in Alaska.

I will be staying at Billie's Bed and Breakfast (aka a backpacker's hostel:  Billie seems to be a wonderful older woman and has run the hostel for the past 20 years (Alaska's oldest hostel!)  She also raises pugs, so that should be interesting!  I read on the Official City of Fairbanks Website that March is a great time to see the northern lights, so I am also pumped about seeing that and taking sweet pictures.

That's all for now, but check back for Alaska and travel updates soon!!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

60 Days of Beauty: Day 29: It's only work if you'd rather be doing something else.

Yesterday was the start of Destination ImagiNation Camp at the US Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. I absolutely love the job of lead these camps. Even though the curriculum never changes, each camp is so different because of the different kids and challenges presented at each base. I love that this job doesn't get old. (Plus Colorado Springs is da bomb!) I hope I always remember that it is always worth doing what I love.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

60 Days of Beauty: Day 27: Exploration

A good chunk of my New Year's Day was spent exploring the Garden of the Gods.  It was such a breath of fresh air (literally) as I have not gotten to be outside, explore or be on rock much in the past 2 months.  I climbed virtually to the top of this thing:

and here's a view from the bottom of it:

and here's a view from the top:


Saturday, January 1, 2011

60 Days of Beauty: Day 26: Welcoming the New Year in peace

So, New Year's Eve was my first full day in Colorado Springs.  This also happened to be the day that the only people in Colorado Springs that I knew were leaving town.  I got to spend NYE alone... in someone else's house... in a strange city.  HA!  You would think it would be terrible, but considering how crazy my Break has been so far, it was really welcomed.  While my friends got crazy back home, I was, for the first New Years I remember, quiet.  It was a surprising and interesting change of pace.
Possibly a sign of peace and quiet to come in the new year???  Probably not so much quiet, but I can always hold out for the peace. :)